Steamboat Springs After two months of searching, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association named one of its own as the next executive vice president.
Fifteen-year chamber employee Sandy Evans was named to the position Thursday. She was picked from 46 applicants who were narrowed down to a field of five.
"She was put into the top five by almost everybody in the group," Chamber Board President Ed MacArthur said.
Members of the nine-person committee who interviewed applicants were looking for somebody with a strong leadership personality, MacArthur said. Also, they were searching for someone who knew the community.
A couple of applicants other than Evans would have filled the position adequately, MacArthur said. But the board was looking for someone local and Evans' experience with the chamber made her the right choice for the position.
"She knows the ins and outs of the chamber better than anybody," MacArthur said.
John Centner, a member of the chamber board, was pleased to hear of Evans' promotion.
"I'm happy that Sandy Evans has been hired for that job and I'm fully supportive of the decision," Centner said.
Evans will now answer directly to the chamber's volunteer board of directors and she will oversee a staff of 10 full-time employees.
The chamber has many issues in front of it right now. One of significance is a movement by some residents who are concerned that Steamboat is growing too fast and who want the city to stop subsidizing the chamber marketing.
Evans said she is ready to take a lead in facing that challenge.
"I think we need to take a big role in being part of the solution for growth," she said.
The business community has the ability to have an influential role in solving growth problems, Evans said.
"I think the biggest challenge is keeping the business community viable," Evans said.
Steamboat Springs' economy is dependent on tourism. Evans hopes to find creative ways to bring more economic diversity in the area.
She also wants to find ways to solve affordable housing problems that exist in Steamboat Springs, saying that is one way to help the local economy remain healthy.
Evans was the community development coordinator for the chamber before she was promoted to executive vice president.
"We're real excited," MacArthur said, "We think we have a bright future with Sandy."
Evans already has a couple months of experience as the chamber's top paid position, acting as interim vice president since the Dean Vogelaar stepped down in March.
Vogelaar was hired by the chamber in December of 1996. He left the job to take a position as the vice president of business development and marketing for Community First National Bank.
He left with no hard feelings and was open to help the board out with its decision to fill the job.
The chamber had hoped to have someone in place 30 days after Vogelaar left.